Vincent Leslie Day—Les, or as known by many, Papa Les, was born the eleventh child to Vincent & Louisa (Colvey) Day in Bras d'Or on August 9, 1923. A pillar of the community. An active and devout member of St. Joseph Parish, Bras d'Or. An entrepreneur. A profoundly committed individual to the cooperative, credit union, CCF, and NDP movements. A recipient of the Order of Canada for community involvement and lifetime award for dedication to the Northside Community Guest Home. A storyteller. A witty, conscientious, kind, generous, and loving person. There are endless ways to portray the man, and the life, of Vincent Leslie Day. However, the most accurate and thorough way to describe Les Day and his life's most significant accomplishments is as a beloved and cherished husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, and friend.
As such, with the heaviest of hearts, we announce the passing of Les on December 21, 2021, at 98 years young, surrounded by family.
Born, raised, and a proud resident of Bras d’Or, lovingly known as God’s country where the weather is always perfect, Les attended St. Joseph School, worked at the aircraft plant in Eastern Passage, where he met the love of his life and gone too soon, Mary Evelyn Walker.
Settling to raise their family in Bras d’Or, Les started working at the Toronto, Franklin, and Number Seven collieries. He obtained his Stationary Engineers license, then later managed the Bras d’Or Consumers Co-Op for several years. With his gift of the gab, hard work ethic, and keen mind, Les utilized these skills to incorporate Les Day Insurance with the vision of helping others alongside his family. A dream that became a reality, and where he “retired” except to read the paper at 75.
With the love of his community, his fellow man, his church, his faith, especially the love of all children. He served.
He served the church, most notably as the first President of St. Joseph Parish Council and making pilgrimages to Medjugorje. He served youth by sitting on school boards, coaching, organizing and sponsoring minor hockey and baseball. He sat on numerous committees and boards. However, most notably, he served his family through unconditional love, support, laughs and most importantly, his presence.
It goes without saying Les loved his kids, but he cherished his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was always good for a story, which could usually cause an eyebrow raise. Like the time he took a few of his grandsons to Florida in an old motorhome (yes, it broke down), who were too young to drive (wink, wink).
As a true world citizen, he loved to travel, one of his most memorable trips being Ireland. He wintered a few years in Florida, but although the weather was to his liking, the politics were not. He made sure to travel wherever and whenever his family needed him, attending graduations, weddings, and sporting events. His last trip to Alaska in a motor home allowed him to visit all his grandchildren and great-grandchildren in their homes from Cape Breton to Fort McMurray, along the way.
Les is survived by his children, Jackie (Sherrie Bond); Sharon (Greg Jessome); Brian (Melinda Leblanc), Port Colborne; Vincent (Linda Marsh); Robert; Jimmey (Kathy Jessome); Mary Jean (Andy Jessome); Edward (Lauraine Turcotte); Bernadette, Fort McMurray; Reggie (Joanne Buis); and Richie (Kathie McLean), Halifax. Les is survived by his only remaining sibling of fourteen brothers and sisters, Dorothy (Harry Serroul), along with his two remaining brothers-in-law, Neil J. Walker; George Walker (Stewie) (Shirley).
Les was blessed with twenty grandchildren: Jeanna, Mary; Greg, Mary; David, Angie; Shannon, Shaun, Lindsay; John, Jacqueline, Jenna; Maegan, Amanda, Edward; James, Ashley; William; Morgan and Lauren, all of whom he made to believe they were his favourite. Nineteen great-grandchildren: Sarah, Allison; Lucas, Jack, Sam; Lynnea; Devan, Connor, Cooper; Aaron, Ashlyn, Alex, Cohen; Riley, Andi-Jean, Lesleigh; Aurora, Tobias; Conner, and Averie.
Les was predeceased by his beautiful wife, mother of his children, the love of his life, Mary, who passed at the age of 44. His son, Joseph, and twelve siblings, Irene (John Leblanc); Wally (Regis Jessome); Maggie (Gordon Nugent, Arnold Leblanc); Melinda (Alex Ross); Hartland (Gertrude Somers); Gordon (Sara Long); Juanita (Steward McLean); Betty (Hammond Musgrave); Billy (Juanita LeBlanc); Joe (Nelle Devoe); Lawrence (Mary Macintyre, Sheila Reilly); and Eugene (Winnie Carrol).
The family wishes to extend gratitude to all Les's Home Care providers, especially Colleen (Click's Girl), Gloria, Jennifer, Nancy, Margie, and Leah, who loved Les dearly.
Although he is gone, Les is now in heaven and will be spending Christmas with the love of his life, and his dearly missed son and will no longer need to call each night in his sleep for his wife.
A celebration of life event will take place in August. Further information will be provided at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to St. Joseph Parish Bras d’Or, either in person or via EFT at email@example.com. Funeral arrangements are under the care and direction of W.J. Dooley Funeral Home in North Sydney. Online condolences can be made at www.wjdooley.com.
He is Gone
You can shed tears that he is gone,
Or you can smile that he lived,
You can close your eyes and pray that he comes back,
Or you can open your eyes and see all that he left.
Your heart can be empty because you can't see him
Or you can be full of love that you shared,
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday,
Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.
You can remember him and only that he is gone
Or you can cherish his memory and let it live on,
You can cry and close your mind be empty and turn your back,
Or you can do what he would want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Les Day, please visit our floral store.